My Favorite Places in Yongchongdo Island, South Korea
Youngchong island Korea where the Airport is located has lots of things to do besides of course the airport. I have retired here from service in the US State Department. I live in the Airport town next to the Unseo station. Here are a few of my favorite places to go.
One of my favorite places is Baegunsan Mountain. (762 ft / 232 m height). This mountain dominates the island and there are trails to the top from many parts of the island. It is about 10 kilometers from the airport. Coming from Seoul or Incheon you can take the Airport railroad and get off at Unseo Station, three stops from the airport. From the station exit the station via exit A and walk right, then turn right again and you will find the trailhead down the street on the left side right after the first intersection. The trailhead is marked only in Korean though. There are multiple paths to the top. It should take about an hour to reach the top. The views are spectacular.
Youngunsa and Yaksuam Temples
From the top of Bekuensan, you can walk down to Youngunsa Temple and Yaksuam Temples. These temples are over 1,000 years old and are very tranquil places to visit.
199-1, Anambra, Jung-gu, Incheon 22359, South Korea
One can arrange a free tour at the airport transit tour desk. Worth doing if you are the airport and have a couple of hours to kill. It is a 20-minute bus ride from the airport. You pay just for the transportation, entrance to the temple is free.
There is a very old tree over 1,000 years old at the center of the temple which is also about a thousand year old.
Another nice hike in Yongchongdo is Bakrangsan mountain. From Unseo station on the airport railroad line, go out exit A and turn right and at the end of the street, right across the street, you will see a road leading up the hill. Follow the road and you will run into the trailhead. The signs are all in Korea. It is a short walk to the top where there are fine views and a nice gazebo. From there you can walk down to the entrance of the World Peace Forrest. Should take no more than an hour to reach the summit and the Peace Forrest.
World Peace Forrest
The world peace forest is a five-mile walk through lovely forests surrounding the new airport town. You can walk to it from the airport railroad Unseo station, third stop from the airport. Exit the station via exit A and turn left. Go past the Lotte market and across the street you will see the entrance. Follow the trail to the other end where you run into the entrance to Bakrangsan. If you are lucky you may run into some of the deer that live in the peace forest and mountains. There are also foxes in the park and mountains and wild boar. I have seen the deer and foxes but yet to encounter the wild boars. Both the forest and Bakrangsan mountain have spectacular wildflowers in the summer and the fall and spring colors are magnificent. The trail is mostly marked in Korean. Halfway up the trail, there is a path that goes back to town and the station. That sign is marked in Korean and English.
There are three beaches on Yongchongdo. Eurwangi, Maisan and Wangsan beaches. You can get to the beaches from the airport via the Maglev train getting off at Youngju station – the ARA train runs there on the weekends and holidays. These are the closest beaches to both Seoul and Incheon and are quite crowded during the summer season and weekends all year long. There are lots of good seafood restaurants near the beaches and plenty of places to stay.
|Eurwangni Beach (을왕리해수욕장)
15, Eurwang-ro 13beon-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon
From the airport, take bus 302 or 306 Gate 2A (1F) and get off at Eurwangi Beach, the bus goes to the rest of the beaches as well. There are also buses from Unseo station as well.
118, Masiran-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon 22385 South Korea
2.9 miles from Eurwangni Beach
Muui-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon South Korea
4.3 miles from Eurwangni Beach
Muui-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon South Korea
3.3 miles from Eurwangni Beach
Muido, So Muido and Silmido are islands near to Yongchongdo. The ferry ride is only five minutes, but it is a bit expensive, 11,000 won per person but the good news is that the bridge will open in April 2019 making a trip to these islands much more affordable. You can get to the islands by taking a bus from the airport, or from the Yongju maglev stop. The Airport railroad goes to Youngju on weekends and holidays. The last ferry leaves at 6:30 pm, and departs every 15 minutes. The bus from the airport departs every 30 minutes. The island bus runs every 30 minutes as well I believe, the last bus to the ferry terminal is about 6 pm.
There are hotels and Korean style resorts near the ferry terminal on the island, and at the beach, there are huts for rent. There are restaurants near the ferry terminal and at the beach but the selection is limited to Korean seafood.
The ferry terminal (before you take the ferry to the island) has a Korean tourism information stand. The people there are very helpful, speak good English and have lots of maps and guides in English and can also tell you about the ferries to the other islands. Well worth a stop. You should stock up on tourism information here if you are going to the outer islands as once you get there is very little English language signage or English speakers on the islands. They are open until 6 pm most days.
310-11, Daemuui-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon
인천광역시 중구 대무의로 310-11 (무의동)
Seasides/ Beaches/ Islands
- 1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330
(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
• For more info: +82-32-760-7114
Muuido Island is located in Jung-gu, Incheon which is not far from the mainland but is only accessible by ferry. Nearby are two smaller islands, Silmido Island and Somuuido Island. In olden times, small boats were used to go from Muuido Island to Somuuido Island but the two islands are currently connected by a bridge so visitors can reach Somuuido after a 10-15 minute walk. Muuido Village Bus (maeul bus; 마을버스) takes people from Keunmuri Dock (큰무리선착장) to Gwangmyeonghang Port (광명항). To enjoy the beauty of Somuuido Island fully, Muuibadanuri-gil 8 Course is a must-visit path, taking around 1 hour and giving stunning views of the East Sea vista. Two beaches, Hanagae Beach and Silmi Beach, are famous beaches in Muuido Island. One interesting thing in Silmi Beach is that people can walk to Silmido Island at low tide. Hiking up Horyonggoksan Mountain (호룡곡산) and Guksabong Peak is also available on Hanagae Island.
The trail head to Horyonggoksan Mountain (호룡곡산) and Guksabong Peak can be found at the ferry terminal and also near So Muido and at Hangagae beach as well. The round trip takes about three hours and the trail is well marked but only in Korean. Go up the stairs and at the top turn right to access the main trail head.
So Muido is a nice spot for a walk as well. Take the bus to the end of the island, and walk across. There are places to stop and eat in So Muido. The walk to the top of the mountain is a nice walk takes about an half an hour to reach the top. There is a private beach on the way back to town.
Silmido island is the site of a secret military base where they trained commandos going undercover into North Korea. They closed the base in the 80’s and a Korean K drama was filmed at the island. The island has a resort where one can stay but there is not much there not even restaurants. Still the beach is nice but a bit deserted. You can walk across to Silmido at low tide, at high tide it becomes a separate island.
Sindo, Modo and Jangbo islands
Shindo, Modo and Jangbo Islands located near Incheon International Airport are great places to get away from Seoul or Incheon for that matter. These three islands are near Yongchongdo. You need to take a ferry to reach them. The ferry ride to Jangbo the biggest of the islands takes about an hour. The ferry runs every hour on the hour the last ferry back leaves about 6 pm. You can catch the ferry at Sammok quay. There are buses from the airport and from Unseo station to the ferry terminal.
Ongjin-gun, Incheon South Korea
7 miles from Eurwangni Beach
Modo island is connected to Shindo island. You can easily walk around both Modo and Shindo in an hour or two. There are places to eat and spend the night, but Jangbo island is the biggest of the three and has the best facilities, beaches, restaurants and walking biking trails.
The island is located one hour and 40 minutes from Seoul. To get there take airport express train from Seoul Station and get off at Unseo station and then transfer to a bus going to Sammok wharf in Yeongjong Island, Incheon. The ferry from there takes 40 minutes. The last ferry back leaves at 6 pm. There are plenty of places to stay near the beaches which are a short walk from the ferry terminal. This is also a popular place to camp as there are camping grounds near the ferry terminal. There is a mountain hiking trail that follows the ridge line all over the island and is a great hike. If you go to Jangbong island, it is worth stopping off at Shindo and Modo islands first and take a walk. A number of K dramas have been filmed on these islands.
More info from Visit Incheon web page follows:
Coastal Trail connecting Sindo Island, Sido Island and Modo Islands
Come to the triplet islands and have a bike tour around them for a fantastic ride along the shoreline. The triplet islands are very well known as one of the best spots in Korea for a bike tour. Come down to the Sinsimodo Islands for a safe and pleasant bicycle touring. Take a boat at Sammok Quay in Yeongjongdo Island. You will get to Sindo Island Quay in about 10 minutes. The three islands of Sindo Island, Sido Island and Modo Island are all connected by bridges, so you can tour all of them in a day. You can rent a bike on the island. There are only a few cars on the road, thus the island is recognized as one of the best places for bike riders.
Sindo Island Pureun Beonmal, a designated traditional agricultural village
The name Sindo Island(literally “the island of trust”) has come from the fact that its residents are conscientious and innocent. It is in this context that the salt produced in the island is called jinyeom (literally “genuine salt”). As the island have mud flats, salt evaporation ponds, and rice paddies, visitors can enjoy everything they can expect from the country’s rural area in Sindo Island Pureun Beotmal designated by the government as a traditional agricultural village.
Sinsido Island Yeondogyo Bridge
Sindo Island is connected to Sido Island by a bridge. The name of Sido Island has come from the legend that troops of the Joseon Dynasty practiced archery in Manisan Mountain with targets set in Sido Island(“an arrow island”). The island is also called “Salseom (‘sal’ also means an arrow in Korean).” Given the actual distance between the two locations, the story is hardly credible, but the idea is intriguing enough. Sido Island has been filming locations for popular TV dramas such as “Full House” and “Sad Love Story” because of the harmony between its slow slope hills and the sea.
Sugi Beach, the filming location of ‘Full House’
Sugi Beach in Sido Island was the filming location for the popular TV series called ‘Full House.’ You can see a few islands in the distance. The beach is covered with quality and beautiful white sands. Main characters in the TV drama series often spent time together here. Who would not have fallen in love with each other in such a beautiful environment?
Simodo Island Yeondogyo Bridge
Sido Island and Modo Island are connected by a bridge. Believe it or not, you can get to a totally different island in just a few minutes. The name Modo Island comes from the word ttiyeom (‘tti’ refers to King cogongrass). The legend says that fishermen in the region once complained that his fish net only had grass instead of fish. ‘Mo’ in Modo Island means ‘grass’ in Chinese.
Baemikkumi Sculpture Park
Baemikkumi Sculpture Park is located on Baemikkumi Beach in Modo Island. The ‘Baemikkumi’ (the local dialect meaning a hole in the bottom of a ship) has come from the fact the beach is as flat as the bottom of a ship. The beach is also famous for a sculpture park featuring a number of surreal erotic sculptures. Blue water, white sand, and dreamlike sculptures blend well with one another. The sculpture park has become a reason to many for a visit to Modo Island.
The Sinsimodo Islands, a paradise for bike enthusiasts
Together, the Sinsimodo Islands are small but pretty places to visit. Most notably, as they are connected, the Sinsimodo Islands will sustain the fame of a paradise for bikers in the West Sea for a long time to come.
36, Wolmimunhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon
인천광역시 중구 월미문화로 36 (북성동1가)
Seasides/ Beaches/ Islands
- 1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330
(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
• For more info: +82-32-765-4169
Wolmido Island (월미도), located roughly 1km off the coast of Incheon, has since become part of the mainland with the creation of a new highway. The name Wolmido Island comes from the shape of the island as it resembles the tail of a half moon. Thanks to its location near Seoul and the convenient transportation, many people visit here during weekends.
The Culture Street starts with Doodle Pillar, and continues onward to Meeting Square, Arts Square, Performance Square, Good Harvest Square and several other notable highlights. Throughout these areas, spontaneous performances are performed, and street artists can draw for you on the spot. Moreover, many cafes and seafood restaurants are lined along the coast so you can enjoy coffee or fresh seafood while viewing the sea.
A must-see attraction on Wolmido Island is “Play Hill.” It’s not as large as other theme parks in Korea, but the Apollo Disco and the Viking rides are truly thrilling. If you’re not into rides, the Apollo Disco ride is still fun just watching. You can also get on a cruise to look around the island.
Comment: this is of course the location of the most famous battle during the Korean war.
The island has a large park that had been a Korean military base and was only opened to the public since the turn of the century. The park is worth a long walk. The views are spectacular from the top.
The amusement park is a bit hooky in my opinion, but still worth a stop and a photo. The waterfront is nice to stroll along but the restaurants there are way over priced.
Jayu freedom park is near Wolmido and features a giant statue of General Mc Arthur and is also worth a visit.
There is a club that has Halloween decoration all year long and that is worth a picture. There are also statues and public art everywhere. And of course coffee shops, beer pubs etc.
About 100 US dollars per person for a sashimi dinner with drinks. The best sea food restaurants are a few blocks away from the water front area, and dinner for two will set you back about 40 dollars including soju.
The Korean government opened a maglev train around Wolmido for the Asian games. But after the games ended the maglev train was disconnected. In my opinion they missed an opportunity and should have extended it to Songdo and the airport as getting to Songdo from the airport is a big of a long subway ride.
Finally, Wolmido has a Korean tourism information stand. The people there are very helpful, speak good English and have lots of maps and guides in English and can also tell you about the ferries to the other islands. Well worth a stop. They are open until 6 pm most days.
To reach Wolmido, get off at the Incheon station on the Seoul-Incheon subway line. Take a bus to Wolmido or a taxi. It is not far from the station. Another fun way to get there is to take the ferry from Yongchongdo (airport island). The ferry runs every 30 minutes and is a five minute ferry ride. The last ferry is at 6:00 pm.
Gerang Mountain in Incheon (계양상)
This mountain is the biggest mountain in Incheon but hiking up to the top is not too difficult. Takes about one to two hours to reach the top and back down. There are lots of side trails as well. The spring and fall colors are magnificent. Lots of nice wildflowers as well. The mountain links to several other mountains in central Incheon. There is a nice old fortress at the top of the mountain. There are plenty of Korean restaurants at the bottom of the mountain.
The closest subway to Gyeansan (giei_iaŋ_saŋ) is Gyeyang subway on the Incheon subway line 1. You can transfer from the Airport express railroad coming from the airport or from downtown Seoul.
Introduction of Mt. Gyeyang
With its altitude of 395m, Mt. Gyeyang is the guardian and holy mountain that represents Incheon. From the beginning of B.C. to the end of the 19th century, the city of Gyeyang was moved from the south of Gohyeon-eup in the Three Kingdoms Period having Mt. Gyeyang at the center and then to the northern and eastern direction. Until its transfer to the southern direction in Bupyeong-dohobueup during the Joseon Period, the city was developed through the capital transfer that was conducted for 6 times. At the peak of the eastern ridge in Mt. Gyeyang, there is Gyeyang Mountain Fortress that was built during the Three Kingdoms Period. Also in the south, Jungsimseong Castle, which was constructed in the 20th year of King Gojong (1883) with the participation of the residents in Bupyeong Village in preparation for defending the coast, is stretched along the ridge of Jingmaei Hill. According to the change of the place name, Mt. Gyeyang was called as Sujuak in Suju of the Goryeo Period and Mt. Annam during Annam-Dohobu. Since the period when this mountain was called as Mt. Gyeyang in the period of Gyeyang-dohobu, it has been called by its present name. This mountain was once called as Mt. Anam and Mt. Gyeongmyeong.
The name of Mt. Gyeyang was originated from the naturally grown Japanese Judas-tree and Korean box trees. Mt. Gyeyang was selected as the first urban natural park of Incheon city on Jan. 8, 1944 (Gyeyang Park) and since then, it became the No. 1 Municipal Park.
88, Gyesansae-ro, Gyeyang-gu, Incheon, 21067, Rep. of KOREA 82-32-551-5701
Copyright ⓒ 2015 Gyeyang Incheon. All Right Reserved.
Office of Gyeyang-Gu Page – Includes information on hiking trails as well as travel advice in English
111-200, Nonhyeon-dong, Namdong-gu, Incheon, South Korea
This is the second largest seafood market in Incheon and specializes in crab, lobster, octopus, and shellfish freshly harvested from the nearby harbor. The boats come back laden with fresh seafood early in the morning. The place is happening all day long. You can buy your food at the market and then take it to nearby restaurants where they will prepare it for you and sell you soju and beer to wash it down. A very Korean experience!
More info on the port from Visit Incheon web site
Incheon Port was opened to the international community in 1883 through which western civilization came. Sorae Port has served as an important fish market for the Incheon region for more than 60 years after a small-scale fish market was formed in the wake of the Korean War (1950-1953) as war refugees caught shrimps and sold salted shrimps in an open market. Now the fish market at the port is across a railway bridge which has been remodeled as a pedestrian-exclusive bridge.
The market is particularly famous for shrimps, salted fish and blue crabs. In addition to such fresh seafood, you can enjoy fish stand owners’ generosity and seagulls flying over fishing boats and the fish market against a blue sky. The port plays host to festivals of fleshy prawn and blue crabs, whose freshness and taste are recognized nationally, attracting crowds of people from various areas of the country. Come to Sorae Port to smell the sea and feel the sky while touring a dynamic fish market and enjoying fresh seafood of your choice.
Yeonan Pier Yeonan Pier is home to various important facilities such passenger terminals, Marine Square, the Fish Market Complex, the Raw Fish Restaurant Street, the Seawater Bath Street, Cruise Port, and Namhang Wharf. It is a popular weekend getaway place not only for residents of Incheon but also for tourists from other areas of Korea. For instance, the Fish Market Complex which more than 500 stores call home attracts a crowd of people wanting to buy a variety of fresh and salted fishery goods. The Raw Fish Restaurant Street is home to large-scale raw fish restaurant towns like the Raw Fish Department Store run by Incheon Fisheries Cooperative Association and the Yeonan Raw Fish Plaza. Visitors can enjoy diverse seafood dishes at affordable prices.
Yeonan Pier is also known for blue crabs. Female crabs are popular in spring while male crabs are delicious in autumn. Most notably, blue crabs caught around Yeonpyeongdo Island are highly regarded for the eggs and meat filling the shells completely.